The basics: Shred a head of cabbage; mix it with salt, caraway seeds, and juniper berries; pack it in a jar and stash in a cool, dry place. Let the bacteria take over.
The home cook: At first, software project manager Austin Durant’s nonfermenting friends thought his fascination with making sauerkraut was a little odd. What started out about a year ago as an interest in its health benefits turned into a full-fledged obsession: “The biochemical changes that take place [during fermentation] are just amazing. Even climate and season can affect the flavor.”
But once those friends tried Austin’s homemade sauerkraut, they were converted. Subsequently, Austin launched Fermenters Club in San Diego (fermentersclub.com), where people gather to trade “living food” and recipes for sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, and even fermented ketchup.
About that first batch … Perfect. “I could smell and taste the sourness, and it had complexity of flavor and great crunch.”